VIBE: Active, Busy, Family Friendly
4700 Gulf Blvd, St Pete Beach, FL 33706
Updated December 13, 2023. Treasure Island Sunset Beach is back open after Hurricane Idalia. Check with the City of Treasure Island for further updates. St. Pete Beach and all the amenities are nearby.
This post may contain affiliate links and we may earn a small commission when you click on links, at no cost to you. Get more information in our Disclaimer.
Why St. Pete Beach is a Great Destination
St. Pete Beach is just south of Treasure Island, Clearwater Beach, Indian Rocks Beach and Madeira Beach on the Gulf of Mexico. It shares the same beautiful sand and water qualities, but has a different vibe. We used to live in the Bradenton area so it was often faster to drive to St. Pete Beach then try to get to Anna Maria Island. The nearby City of St. Petersburg offers a fantastic lunch destination with a view of Tampa Bay, along with our personal favorite Italian bakery (see below).
How to Get to St. Pete Beach
One of the best things about St. Pete Beach is how close it is to Tampa International Airport. Find the lowest airfare prices by booking your Florida trip online at Lowest Flight Fares. Usually it's about a 40-minute drive from the airport and the scenery with palm trees is just beautiful. You can book a rental car here for your St. Pete vacation, or through any reputable rental company.
Discover the Beautiful Sand at St. Pete Beach
Like Clearwater Beach, the sand is white and as soft as powder. There are some small shells that children will enjoy searching for, but nothing like Sanibel Island. This is the kind of beautiful sand that you get on most of the Gulf of Mexico beaches. The only beach locations that might have whiter sand are Siesta Key and Destin Beach.
St. Pete Beach Water
When it comes to swimming, the Gulf of Mexico is hard to beat, and St. Pete Beach offers a fantastic experience. One of the best things about this beach is its easily accessible sandbar. You can easily walk or swim across the clear and sparkling waters of the Gulf and enjoy the view of the beachfront. The water is warm and shallow, only up to your waist, making it perfect for relaxing. You can even spot marine animals like manatees and dolphins. The beach is busy, but it is a large expanse of sand, providing plenty of room for everyone to have fun. Tour boats also dock at the shore, and you can even jet ski right off the beachfront.
Beach Parking and Amenities
When visiting St. Pete Beach, it's important to note that parking is not free and requires the use of the ParkMobile app. Unfortunately, RV parking is not available, but standard vehicles including pickup trucks are permitted. Keep in mind that parking spaces are limited and it's recommended to arrive before 10am. Also, avoid backing into parking spots. As frequent visitors to Florida beaches, we know that parking can be expensive, ranging from $10 to $30 per day. When we visited the parking fee at St. Pete Beach was $3.35 per hour (this may change at any time). While this access point doesn't have an on-site snack bar, you can find a Chick-fil-A and a Publix grocery store across the street. These are great options for grabbing food to-go. Don't park in their lots as you may risk being towed.
If the parking lot is full try Upham Beach Park just up the road. The Paradise Grille restaurant is on site. It also has volleyball nets and cabana rentals. No dogs are allowed at any St. Pete beaches.
There are bathrooms right at the parking lot with an outside shower and foot wash station. You can wash off before getting back into your vehicle. Cabana rentals are $30 per day (at time of publication). Many St. Pete and Clearwater Beach public access locations have beach wheelchairs on a first-come, first-served basis at the beach lifeguard stations. To find out more click here.
Like other beaches, St. Pete Beach has a free shuttle service called FreeBee. These totally electric vehicles will provide door-to-door service. Tipping is NOT required since drivers are compensated by the city.
St. Pete Beach Activities
Looking for a fun and adventurous activity during your stay at St. Pete Beach? Look no further than the many hotels and resorts that offer watersports and partner with Suncoast Watersports. Jet skis, wave runners, banana boat rides, and cruises are just a few of the many options available to you. Don't miss out on the chance to spot dolphins, manatees, stingrays and more on popular sunset and dolphin spotting cruises. Families with kids love these 3-hour excursions to the outer islands. For a truly unforgettable experience, join a sunset tour with a tropical drink in hand and watch as the sun goes down over the Gulf of Mexico.There is nothing better than a St. Pete Beach sunset and a tropical drink!
St. Pete Beach Dining
Eating in St. Pete Beach is easy with many restaurants along the shoreline. Feeling like something special and dining upscale? Then choose Spinners Rooftop Grille the restaurant that looks like a cruise ship and has a 360 degree rotating view of St. Pete Beach. What a view at sunset! However, you will need reservations and they have a dress code. Be aware of corkage fees if you BYOB.
If you feel like just walking out of the Gulf of Mexico and sitting at the bar, then choose Sandbar Bill's Bar and Grille. Club sandwiches, wraps, burgers, pizza and frozen drinks hit the spot while the sun goes down. It's located in the Bon-Aire Resort.
City of St. Petersburg, FL
Living so close to St. Petersburg, Florida gave us the opportunity to explore the downtown area located on Tampa Bay, just over the Sunshine Skyway bridge. We love to explore the waterfront that has Banyan trees in North Straub Park. On our last visit we dined with a view of the water at the Parkshore Grill on Beach St. before a performance at the Mahaffey Theater. We noticed there are almost as many yachts in St. Petersburg as Miami Beach!
One of our favorite things to do is shop at Mazzaro's Italian Market. It has Italian bread and pastries. We often lunched there enjoying a salami or tomato and fresh mozzarella sandwich on the covered patio.
The St. Pete Pier is a brand new experience for visitors. It is a new, gleaming structure that offers dining, art, shopping and even a splashpad for kids! There are over 500 on-site parking spaces and bike parking. More information about parking including directions and rates here.
Look Out! This Could Happen...
Always check for Red Tide with this link or this link before your stay. If you are planning a visit to St. Pete Beach in 2023, beach replenishment will be underway at that time. It should not affect your visit. The project is expected to take several months to complete, but the beach is open. Parts of the beach where re-nourishment construction is taking place may be closed off. The city says the beach not within the active work zone should remain open.
What We Really Think About St. Pete Beach
St. Pete Beach is one of our favorite vacation spots, but living there might not be the best option for everyone. Although the beach town is charming, many of the homes and buildings are older and may not be as sturdy as newer construction in the event of a hurricane. As a barrier island, it can be particularly vulnerable to flooding and evacuations during major storms. We know firsthand the stress of evacuating during hurricanes from our experiences living near Bradenton. So for now, we'll continue to enjoy St. Pete Beach as a vacation spot and stay in a hotel or with nearby friends.
Disclaimer: Our blog website is for general information only and not to be used for any official information. Reference official news for your travel making decisions. Though we aim to provide you with up-to-date information, we make no representations or warranties of any kind (expressed or implied) about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability of any information, products, services or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Full Disclaimer here.
St. Pete Beach Hotels
You Might Also Enjoy:
Susan and Bruno are travel bloggers. We write about Florida beaches on every coast. Our opinions only.